Sally’s Note: So, this episode is really long. I had to break it into two. Enjoy!
Dami was in a good mood. A very, very good mood. She loved it when it rained. She always had a mad desire to run under it like she loved doing when she was little. Uyi nicknamed her ‘wet girl’; a name that connoted more than what the rain did to her.
Monday morning came with an angry downpour that put Uyi in a bad mood. Unlike his sweetheart, rainfall never eased his state of mind or emotions. If anything, it made him worse. He grew up in poor conditions and the rains meant for him then, a leaking roof, a flooded neighborhood with water carrying all sorts of filth and debris, and the fear of being constantly struck by lightning (having experienced it once as a kid and narrowly escaping death from it). Even as a grown man now, he still sometimes found himself scared of thunderstorms.
“Uyi, look! Hailstones! Closest thing to snow around here! I’m going to get me some!” Dami giggled and ran outside like a little child running on jet fuel. Uyi who was lying on her bed, sat up and pulled his laptop to him. He ran his fingers over the mouse, popping up a window on his screen that displayed the face of a man that made him frown. That face was primarily the reason why he was upset.
He had spent the better part of his weekend (when he was not having sex with Dami) tracking down the person behind the totameavirgin website. The first result he hit was a brick wall, leading him to a proxy server used to mask the real IP address of the individual behind the website. But Uyi had his ways and his connections in the IT world and in no time, he traced the site back to Dike. Determined to revive his image in Felix’s eyes, he dug for more and found to his dismay that Dike was good friends with Felix himself. There were pictures of both men’s families in Dike’s Facebook albums and he even discovered Felix had attended the same university and once worked as a business partner with Dike. The thought of them being friends aroused Uyi’s curiosity and he began wondering if Felix ran the site alongside Dike. But that line of thought was ludicrous and Uyi abandoned it immediately. Why would Felix ask him to investigate something he was part of? And why would someone of his status do something so juvenile? To Uyi, he saw a man merely being protective of his cousin and opening a site centered around her sex life couldn’t be something someone like Felix could do. Uyi’s conclusion was that the Dike character that he knew nothing about had to be running the show alone.
And that pushed him further into his investigation. He wanted more dirt on Dike. To him, a forty-something year old man did not start acting like a teenager for the fun of it; Dami must have, in her notoriously annoying way, done something to push him. Hence, on Saturday he contacted a friend working with the mobile network provider Dike was using and asked for Dike’s phone call logs. He got a reply by Sunday evening, an email with an endless list of Dike’s call history in the past year. Uyi ran the list on a program and requested the most frequently dialed numbers. Three numbers appeared—the first, Uyi knew nothing of but the last two belonged to the two women in Uyi’s life. Dami and Temi. While Dami’s was dated six months back, Temi’s was quite recent. In fact, Dike had dialed her twice on Saturday afternoon.
When Uyi had fallen into this discovery, he was very confused. He planned on questioning Dami but he held back and investigated further by hacking into both Dami’s and Dike’s email accounts. However, he came up with nothing. He couldn’t get into Temi’s because of a security measure she had put to track down anyone hacking into her personal files. Hence he compiled his findings, made a detailed note about Dike’s involvement with the site and the process he had used to trace him, and he put everything in a folder named ‘Dike’. Now because Dike was a family man and a friend of Felix, Uyi had no true intentions of sending the information to Felix but he kept it around in case it was ever requested. Still the thought that Temi, especially, could have something to do with Dike bothered him. Was he the ‘boyfriend’ she always spoke about? Was he the one that hit her? These questions bothered Uyi more than the fact that he had a job interview in less than two hours that he had not prepared for.
Outside, Dami was standing under the cover of her roof, chewing on tiny hailstones. Her excitement was closely viewed by her gateman and his wife from behind the frail curtain of their small room by the gate. Dami knew they were watching her but she didn’t care. She was in high spirits. And it wasn’t just because of the two bottles of cough syrup she had secretly consumed in the bathroom an hour before, nor was it just because of the rain. Throughout the weekend, she had carefully observed Uyi and his laptop. For every moment she was not in his arms, he was fixated on the thing. And each time she tried to see what he was doing, he always shut it and pushed it away. But she got her moment when he drifted to sleep the previous night, leaving the laptop on. Stealthily, she took it out of bed and into the sitting room where she investigated what it was that had his attention all weekend. And there she stumbled upon the ‘Dike’ folder and when she clicked it open and read the note Uyi had made, she was stunned. Right away, she fished around for a flash drive and copied the folder before sneakily returning the laptop back to where Uyi had left it. She stashed the flash drive away and nestled into his cuddle, going to bed a very happy girl.
“You’ll catch a cold with what you’re doing.”
Dami turned to see Uyi behind her. She shoved a tiny hailstone into his mouth and he spat it out.
“Come in, Damaris.”
Uyi drew her in with a kiss. Her mouth was cold against his and so was her body as his fingers ran over the drops of water on her thighs. She held unto him hungrily, her hands heading for his boxers but he pulled away and took her hand.
“I’m hungry. Come let’s find something to eat.”
She hopped on his back and wrapped her legs around him. “You’ll cook for me?” she asked, giggling.
“Yes, I will. And you have to eat. No girl should space between her legs like a guy.”
“Girls I know would kill for the space between my legs. People even do liposuction to get it.”
“And yours is natural?”
“Yep. Naturally hot. But I have curves na.”
“Surprisingly. Still I’ll fatten you.”
Uyi dropped her on the kitchen counter and began making breakfast.
“I’m a bit nervous about the interview,” he revealed.
“The job is yours already. Just speak geek to them and you’ll be fine.” She assured him.
“Dami, we’re talking about DPS Solutions here. It’s not Geek Elysium oh. Do you know where we all were when DPS started with the internet in Nigeria?”
Dami shook her head. “Mnh-mnh.”
“We were in the stone age. In short, only rich people in this country knew about computers then. Those that had them couldn’t even use them. But DPS was light years away!”
“Whatever. It’s just a bunch of geeks like you but with a lot of money. They are now fat and lazy and are looking for young blood to do all the work. So just go there and wow them. But first…” she pulled him to her, “you have to wow me.”
“Damaris, not now.” He moved away.
“Why?” she sat up, pouting.
“Because I am not a sex machine. Geez! I’m tired.”
“But I want you.”
“Come on, close your legs; you’re in the kitchen for heaven’s sake.”
She gave up and jumped off the counter. “I have decided to go to work today.”
“Good for you.”
She put her arms around him from behind and rested her head on his back. “But I want to follow you to your interview.”
“No. Go to work, and try not to piss Mr. Enenche off. He’s older than you and you should respect him.”
“I’ll try.” She pinched his nipples before she walked away.
Dike held Kachi tight beneath the soft, blue duvet that shielded them from the cold weather. He refused to let go even as she squirmed restlessly in his hold. She was in a laughing fit and it felt good to Dike to hear the cheerfulness in her voice. He knew she was still bitter at him but he saw that she was fighting it and he was grateful for that.
“Ogbudike, let me go to work na,” she begged, giggling. His fingers were mercilessly tickling her sides.
“Which work?” he asked, not stopping. “It’s raining.”
“Just because you’re jobless…”
“My friend, shut up. Who says I’m jobless?”
“But seriously,” she stopped moving, “you don’t have a job, Dike.”
“I do.” He went for her calf next, running small lines on sensitive spots near the sole of her foot. She wiggled her leg away and sat up, throwing the blanket off. The freezing air coming from opened windows hit her naked skin and she hugged herself as she got off the bed.
“I’m not supposed to announce this but I’m now a secret senior partner at Geek Elysium.”
Kachi turned around at the breaking news. “When?”
“Last week. Felix isn’t so sure how Justice Alechenu would handle it, since Geek Elysium is a family business. So we’re keeping it under the radar. Don’t let Ene find out too. For obvious reasons, she still has reservations about me.”
“Felix told you she has reservations?” Kachi asked walking into the bathroom.
“He didn’t have to. I just know.”
Kachi replied something to his statement but he didn’t hear. He sat up and pushed aside the duvet.
“So when are you moving back in?” he inquired.
“Moving back in?” Kachi returned with her toothbrush in her mouth. “Dike, we’re still in the wooing process. Until I’m sure that you’re hundred percent in love with and faithful to me, I’m not coming back to this house.” She made brushing motions and smiled with her eyes as she saw the sad look on her husband’s face.
Dike’s phone buzzed beside him and he looked into the screen, his brows gathering in surprise. He picked the phone and walked out of the bedroom. Kachi tried not to bother about the fact that he was taking a call away from her as she continued with her oral hygiene. After she was done, she had a long, hot shower. Wrapped in Dike’s bathrobe, she walked back into the bedroom and found him standing by the door.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, detecting the serious expression on his face.
“Kachi, we need to talk.”
Kachi’s heart sank and her shoulders fell. “Please don’t tell me there’s another girl.”
“It’s Damaris. She was the one on the phone.”
“What did she want?”
“Baby, please sit.”
“No, I’m standing. What did the brat want?”
Dike took in and let out a heavy breath and in very few but concise words, told Kachi about the website. Astonishingly, Kachi said nothing, though he could see her chest heaving and her eyes turning red.
“Why did you do it?” she asked.
“I was in a bad place, Kach. I really had feelings for Damaris then and when she dumped me and exposed the relationship…”
“Affair,” Kachi corrected.
“Affair. When she exposed us, I was terribly shaken. I got mad and…”
“Vindictive. As usual.”
Kachi nodded but her nostrils burned with suppressed tears.
“So she wants to sue you?” she asked. Dike nodded. “Does she have proof?”
“She does. She traced the site back to me. I shut it down on Saturday but it takes seventy-two hours before the host company finally disables it. It’s a precaution for people who might want to change their minds later.”
“So the site is still on?”
“Yeah. But don’t worry. Everything’ll be fine.”
“Everything will be fine? Oh, Dike…” Kachi slumped into the stool before her vanity table. “What are we going to do? You have to tell Felix to talk to her.”
“I can’t. Felix doesn’t know it’s me behind the site and he’s been really angry about it and had even ordered an investigation…”
“Oh God…” Kachi muttered. “Justice Alechenu will bury you alive. They’ll sue you for libel. We have to go and beg before it blows up.”
“Over my dead body.” Dike glowered and walked away from the door.
“How bad is this site, Dike? I want to see it.” Kachi reached for her phone on the vanity table but Dike walked to her and snatched it.
“It’s better you don’t. There are naked pictures of…her there.”
Kachi’s mouth dropped open.
“I didn’t put them. A registered user did but the necessary parts were blurred…”
“Dike, what happened to you?” Kachi looked at him as if she was staring at a stranger. “How did it get so bad?”
“I don’t know. I really don’t,” he replied in honesty.
“Oh God, help me.” Kachi was now in tears, her head buried in her hands. Dike sat on the bed and reached for his phone.
“I have to call my lawyer.”
“Just go and apologize to Damaris and her father.”
“No, Onyekachi. I won’t.”
“But that man will use his influence to ruin you, Nnai. Remember what he did the last time. He’s the reason all your clients dropped you. I know what he can do.”
“I am not begging him, woman!”
“Why did you do that type of wickedness to Damaris na? Why?” Kachi sobbed.
Dike stood, putting his phone to his ear as he walked out of his room. Kachi crumbled completely. She felt the familiar strings of resentment tugging at her heart and prayed to God to help her remain sane.
Anyebe concentrated on the iPad Mini in his hands, his eyes deepening by the minute. Dami sat on his table, facing him, restlessly swinging her legs as she waited for him to devour the evidence before him. He finally raised himself to a straight posture and looked at her.
“Get off my table, child.”
Dami hopped down and stood where her feet landed.
“How did you get this?”
“From Uyi’s laptop to my flash to my phone and…”
“Omoruyi complied this?” he asked. Dami nodded.
“You see? I told you he’s a keeper and would do well with DPS.”
“Can we sue Dike with this, dad?” Damaris asked impatiently.
“You said you have more evidence?”
“I have screenshots of the site from the very first day it was up.”
“What does that mean?” Anyebe asked, leaning back on his chair.
“It’s pictures taken with my iPad of pages on the site. We can use those as proof.”
“Tell me more about this proxy server thing.”
“Basically,” Dami began, “when you connect to the internet through a proxy server, the home IP address of your machine will not be shown but rather the IP of the proxy server will be shown, providing you with privacy and making it difficult and sometimes, even impossible for anyone to track your real IP address,” she finished. “Can we still get him, Dad?”
Anybebe was in deep thought for a while. “If we can trace the proxy server back to him, why not? I wish your mother were here. She was the computer genius. She would have figured out what to do.”
“Well, she’s dead and the company lawyers are very alive.”
“I’ll see what we can come up with by the end of the day.”
“Dad, please hurry. The site is shutting down tomorrow afternoon. Registered users have already been sent alerts.”
“Damaris, stop getting ants in your pants. Relax and let me handle it.”
“So we’re suing?”
“But of course.”
“Yay!” Dami did a little dance and hugged her father, leaving a peck on his forehead. He gave her a calm smile and patted her cheek. As she picked her iPad Mini and left the office, she did not see the angry mien that settled on his face.